The year was 2011. Today it seems like so long ago… I am looking at the photos from back then and I see a beautiful girl who thought she could concur the world. That girl was going on a trip to Italy to visit a dear friend of hers. Yes, I remember now – maybe the most romantic country in Europe, the amazing Italy…
So, the year is 2011. I am flying to Bergamo, Italy from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. It’s October, the weather is nice. D., my dear D., is supposed to pick me up from the airport when I land in Bergamo. I haven’t seen him since Portugal… It’s my first time in Italy and I am more than excited.
All goes as planned and we arrive in Pordenone, D.’s hometown. I am so happy to be here. D.’s family is celebrating his birthday and I am a part of it! There are more than 15 people in this lovely house, all of them are smiling and they are asking me questions about Bulgaria. I feel the coziness of this beautiful Italian home and the warmness of this Italian family, it’s like in a movie.
Second day – Verona. We take off early in the morning. I can’t wait to see the famous Juliette’s House. Before you ask: Yes, I did touch her breast. For good luck. I even took a picture of it. And yes, I did write something on the wall. It didn’t come true anyways (I can tell, 6 years later).
There are so many people! La casa di Guilietta is the most popular tourist attraction in Verona. Unfortunately, I cannot reach the balcony, so we go. I couldn’t feel like a real Juliette. Well, maybe next time!
D. takes me to a pizza place, after all – we are in Italy. I swear, I feel like I have never ate pizza in my entire life till now! How can a pizza be so delicious?! What are we eating in Bulgaria? If some day I have the chance to move to Italy, it will be only because of the pizza.
I don’t remember the name of the pizza place, but I remember I ate Margarita. A simple Margarita made me want to move to Italy.
We finish our pizzas, we order two cappuccinos and I feel like I am in heaven. The pizza place is really small, yet so elegant in a way. Later, we give the piazza a tour, let the sunshine make us even happier and it is time to leave.
We are back in Pordenone and I am still figuring out if what is going on is true or it’s just an American movie taking place in Italy. In the evening we go out with some of D.’s friends. They take me to a nice bar, more like a disco – a dance place. Italian girls are so pretty. Everyone is dressed up, I feel like I don’t fit in here.
Third day – Venice. A dream came true. I am not sure if I can even describe it and what it feels like. Have you seen that movie with Angelina Jolie, The Tourist? I am thinking of it, as I am walking down the narrow streets of Venice and being careful not to get lost. It truly is one of the most romantic cities in the world!
I bought a typical Venetian mask in case some day I come for the carnival (it still gathers dust in my bedroom, 6 years later). We take a lot of photos, me and D. We are not going for a gondola ride, though. It is too expensive and we are still just two “poor” students who are looking for jobs in their home countries. Time really flies. It’s already getting dark and we have to go in order to catch the train to Pordenone. I don’t want to leave… Hopefully, some day I will come back.
Back then, in October 2011, I stayed in Italy for a week. I visited not only Pordenone, Verona and Venice, but my friend D. took me to Milan, Trieste, Udine and Sacile as well. In 2012 I went back to Trieste, only for a day – I had to catch a flight from there to London. I met D. for a few hours and then I took off again. We haven’t seen each other since.
I will always remember that week in Italy. One of the most amazing countries I have ever been to. It’s like everything about it is special.
P.S. For the purposes of the story, I haven‘t used real names. I also changed a few things.
You will always be my dearest Italian friend. I am really grateful for knowing you.